#carmelprays – Acts 8:26-40
Opening Song: Hope And Glory
Read Scripture: Acts 8:26-40
The account of Philip meeting the Ethiopian eunuch is such a full picture of the theme that runs through the entire book of Acts – the Lord’s sovereign hand working in the hearts and minds of believers and non-believers to bring about His glory. A few things for us to ponder as we study this passage together:
The gospel is at the heart of our lives – it is both alive and universal
Both Philip and the eunuch’s actions were motivated by the word of God. Philip was one of the first missionaries of the early church, proclaiming Christ beyond Jerusalem and in Samaria (Acts 6:5, 8:5). Although the eunuch had not yet heard about Jesus, he had been struck by the words of the prophet Isaiah and had gone to Jerusalem specifically to worship God (v27-28). And when they met, Scripture was what brought the seeker and the teacher together, as Philip explained that Jesus was the slaughtered sheep Isaiah had prophesied about all those years ago (v30-35).
It can be tempting for us to forget that the good news of Jesus, as proclaimed throughout the entire Bible, speaks for itself. The eunuch’s unquestioning faith seems almost impossible in our sceptical age. Yet he wasn’t unthinking, as his serious study of Scripture showed. He simply recognised the truth of the gospel and made the decision right then and there to publicly commit himself to his new life in Christ by being baptised (v36-38). As wonderful as apologetics and miraculous signs are, they weren’t what brought the eunuch to faith (even though he witnessed a miracle immediately after his baptism!). The word of God speaks to anyone and everyone who genuinely seeks to know Him, regardless of creed or culture.
We are called to serve the Lord readily and wholeheartedly
For those of us who are believers, our job is then clear. Just as Philip went unquestioningly to the desert in response to the angel’s command, we are also charged to submit fully to His will (v26-27). Evangelism isn’t just for really keen Christians who have tons of Bible knowledge and know all the answers to theological questions. In fact, the only credential Philip had was that he was chosen by the apostles for his ‘good repute’ and faithfulness (Acts 6:3, 6:5). God doesn’t need our clever embellishments to convince others to follow Him. What comfort it is to know that He has given us the Bible as the authoritative guide to Jesus and salvation!
What’s stopping us from boldly proclaiming Christ to everyone we meet? Is it fear that we’re inadequate? Or fear that the world will sneer at us? Because we are inadequate, and people will reject the gospel. But the beauty of the gospel is that ‘God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us’ (Rm 5:8). That’s all we really need to know. And how can we stay silent as the world heads towards eternal judgement?
Above all, God is fully sovereign over every circumstance
God was the one who sent Philip to the desert road. He was the one who stirred the heart of the eunuch to head to Jerusalem in search of Him. He whisked Philip away after his work with the eunuch was done, sending him Azotus to continue his gospel work. (v26, 27, 39-40). He is all-powerful and all-knowing, and works everything for His glory. What a good and glorious God we serve! Serving Him may involve trials and suffering now, but how can we be anything but assured of His triumphant return?
Pray in Response
Gracious Father, thank You for loving us so deeply and demonstratively that You gave Your Son Jesus to be the Way, the Truth and the Life! Father God it is Your written Word, Your Holy Scriptures, that points us to Jesus, the Living Word! It is to Him that we find salvation. Thank You Jesus that You came to seek and save the lost of whom we would be had You not called us. O how blessed we are that we are Your Children Father. Thank You for giving us the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom You sent in Jesus’ name. Thank You Holy Spirit for teaching us all things and bringing to remembrance all that Jesus speaks to us. Lord, let the Living Word be loudly heard in our lives that You are boldly proclaimed in all we think, do and say in the name of Jesus. Amen!
Response Song: Your Word
By Emma Chai